Important Considerations For Setting Up A Server Room In Your Startup Or Small Business
Do you think it’s time for your small business to have it’s own server room? You might be right, check out these tips for setting up a server room for your startup.
For many, there comes a time when your small business develops to the extent that it needs a dedicated server room. For many companies, a server room is an unofficial ticket into the big league. If you break up the process into steps, the whole project can be executed fairly easily.
The room requirements
The first step should always be determining what needs your server room should address, and allocating resources to meet those needs. Unless you’re running your server through a managed service provider who can guide you from start to finish, make sure your server room has no windows, the ceiling height of at least nine feet, a drop ceiling with an air return, an electrical installation that provides backup power, as well as the room to access the front and back of every rack you plan to install.
Room for expansion
The server room specs directly impact the room’s performance, so the room will be only as effective as your investment. In other words, a server room is not a place to cut corners. The noise coming from fans and A/C units that will turn on and off frequently might distract and annoy your employees, so make sure the server room is insulated for sound. Also, when planning a server room, try to leave room for expansion. As your business grows, make sure the server room can grow with it. If you can allocate the resources, it’s always better to have a dedicated room than a converted hall closet, so your server capacities are maximized from the start.
The following steps will be related to setting up the skeleton of your room, which mainly includes racks and shelving, power distribution, and cooling equipment. Server racks are the most popular method of organising server room for commercial IT operations. The measuring unit of a rack is the RU – rack unit. The rack system makes it easy to add, remove, and rearrange server units, while the front and back door allow for easy access. Racks come in standard widths, so if you purchase the correct size, any rack you buy fits easily into the existing setup.
One of the most important aspects of your server room is the electrical configuration. In countries like Australia, electrical work is strictly delegated, with different license and training levels. Determining how much power you need and how much is available is a complex task, so you may need a qualified Sydney electrician team to upgrade your power supply and protect your circuits from overloading. These professionals are licensed for connecting your service lines to the network, installation, and removal of electrical metering equipment, and relocation of point attachments.
Server units can generate a lot of heat, so keeping them cool is critical for uninterrupted operation. Many larger data centers use advanced cost-intensive technologies like underfloor cooling systems or liquid cooling. For small businesses, a dedicated A/C unit coupled with smart design features like hot aisle/cold aisle configuration is probably the most optimal choice. Ductless mini-split A/C units are another great choice, as they reduce the load on the air returns. Apart from cooling, you’ll also need monitoring equipment to alert you when the room’s temperature passes the acceptable values.
When the time comes to get your server room online, you’ll need to enlist help from your IT department to make sure you’re doing everything right. You may also want to consult some of installation guide tutorials to make sure you’re doing steps in the correct order. In both cases, read the directions remains the advice No.1. Make sure you’ve studied all the parts of the equipment you’re installing. As you’re installing the equipment, make sure you’re following the cable arrangement. It’s only too easy for cables to become a tangled bed of snakes, which presents both tripping hazard and the risk of overheating.
If you take an effort and bundle cables together, you’ll be able to identify groups of cables linked to a single server more easily. If you go a step further and label the cables, you’re bringing your organization game to a new level. Labelled cables not only save time but also reduce the likelihood of accidents like individual systems being unplugged or restarted.
Include security solutions
Your server room is likely to house the highest concentration of expensive equipment in your entire business operation. That means you should take precautions to make sure it’s well protected. Depending on the size of your business, you’ll need access control that ensures that only a handful of employees has access to the server room. For a small business, a simple individually keyed lock might be enough, while for larger operations an access code or biometric system might be required. In both cases, at least one security camera with cloud backup needs to be running inside the room at all times.
A server room is a serious investment in the future of your business. By equipping a server room that is truly functional, you’re giving your IT operations a valuable asset to spearhead your company’s growth.